Our open day this year will be on Sunday 31st of March 2019. 10 am til 4 pm. Come to buy your fleece,tops or yarn. Meet other traders and the sheep. Spin, knit or just catch up with friends over a nice Devonshire tea.
Bendigo Sheep & Wool show has finished for 2018. Our Finnsheep Assoc always are present & we enjoy our time at Bendigo. It is lots of work setting up, and then packing up on the last day but is well worth it. Our show team sheep this year included Bill & Ben (bottle raised lambs from 2 years ago) who are always very friendly and popular with children as they can be petted. We also took along 2 Pure Finn ewes and a Pure Finn wether.
It is most rewarding when people return to buy fleece from us because they have so enjoyed their prior purchases. We sold out of all our coloured fleece and all our Pure Finn fleece. We brought home a few cross bred fleece but I think all who wanted to purchase some were able to get what they wanted. We also sold lots of tops, both white and black and a little yarn. I did think that the natural dyed yarn would be more popular, but you can never tell what people are looking for.
Our fleece continues to do well in the competitions with our 2 coloured entries gaining a second and a third place and our white fleece earning a third ribbon and a highly commended ribbon.
We are now all unpacked and sorted and will just have time to catch our breath before lambing starts in early Sept.
Another Bendigo Sheep and Wool show has passed.
We had our best sales ever and it is so good to have people come back year after year to tell us how pleased they are with our goods.
We almost sold out of fleece completely so if you really want something specific please contact us and place an order. We shear again in November.
We were delighted that our black fleece won it’s section and also “Best Handspinning Fleece” as judged by Wendy Dennis of Tarndy. This is, of course what we are aiming for. This win also attracted a monetary prize was sponsored and thank you to Beyloar Blacks.
Our 2 white fleeces both won a “highly commended” in much bigger fields.
Now it is time to catch our breath and get ready for lambing in early September.
Here are some pictures of life at the show.
After a very long and unplanned lambing season last year -the rams were very busy and jumped into paddocks that they shouldn’t have – we have a controlled and planned programme for 2016.
We have just completed our Artificial Insemination programme with 15 ewes. We used Pure Finnsheep semen that we imported from New Zealand and also some very old semen from some of the original Finnsheep from many, many years ago.
We have only 9 coloured ewes mated to a Pure Finn coloured ram and a Finn/Merino cross very black ram. So hopefully we won’t still be getting lambs in December this year.
Our next big event for this year is Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show on July 15th to 17th. We are located in the Finn Association tent which is at the end of the main street as you enter on the left. (past the food outlets). Do come and look us up and have a talk about our Finns.
Another Bendigo Sheep & Wool Show has passed. Our Finn Assocoaition tent was well attended with goods for sale, and our sheep on display.
Breeders from NSW, Vic, and SA were present representing our small society.
We had quite a few fleeces entered in the fleece competition but judges failed to apply the correct Awex code which would see our fleece not penalised so heavily for their lack of weight. Finn fleece should normally only cut about 3 to 4 kgs of fleece and since the weight factor is 38% of the score we cannot compete with 8 or more kg fleeces. We believe next year there will be an allowance for our breed standards which should make a huge difference to our scores.
In the wool craft section many Finn goods won prises including a 3rd for a jumper for Gerry and a 2nd for a hat for my granddaughter of my own, and a 2nd for a baby jacket spun, dyed and knitted by Sue.
Here are some pictures of life at the show.
Recently we have returned from New Zealand where we have organised to import Finnsheep semen from Robin Hilson at One Stop Ram Shop near Hawkesbay. We have dealt with Robin before and are pleased to be able to do business with him again. This semen will be shared amongst members of the Finnsheep Association of Aust. Our own program will run next year.
Also we visited Design Spun in Napier and organised for some of our wool to be processed into yarn. We needed to do this as at the time there was no one in Australia actually processing yarn.
This will be the only Pure Finn yarn in Australia and we are looking forward to its arrival soon. Keep an eye on the shop for when it comes in. We will have 5 ply & 8 ply in 2 colours and white also for hand dying.
This year Fairfield Finns were located in the Finn Association tent with the sheep. I’m sure it meant that some folks could not find us but we did meet a lot of new people too. Thanks to all our old friends & customers who made it all the way up the road to the very end to find us.
We feel philosophically that we should be with the sheep and lots of people agreed that it was a good display and interesting to see where the goods actually come from. We sold almost all of our fleece and are looking forward to the new shearing in Nov.
We had some good results both in the Woolcraft section & in the fleece completion. In the woolcraft my good friend Sue Tannett won the Margaret Benning award (for a dyed article made from raw fleece) with a lovely ladies cardigan made from Finn fleece of course.
Sue also won the accessories section with a shawl.
I came second to Sue with my shawl.
My pure Finn shawl made from lamb fleece came second in the babywear section.
In the fleece completion our white fleece only managed a 6th place because we have to compete against Merino/ BorderLeiscters which cut a lot more fleece than our Finns and consequently the weight factor let us down as this makes up 38% of the marks.
In the coloured fleece completion our fleece came second. Again weight was a factor because the fleece was put in the ram section and it was a ewe fleece. In all other criteria our fleece outscored the winner.
Now it is on to lambing in September (a very busy time for us), then shearing in November.
The Finns were featured in a local NZ newspaper recently.
We have recently returned from New Zealand. Whilst there we talked to a yarn processor about the possibility of processing some of our lovely fleece into lovely yarn. This will be a long term project because of the shipping etc. We hope to have our new yarn available early next year.
We stayed overnight with Robin Hilson and Joy Gray of the One Stop Ram Shop farm. We imported semen from some of Robins rams 11 years ago and are now looking to further diversify the genetics in our sheep. All going well we may look at an Artificial Insemination program for next year.
Here is a picture of some of the Finnsheep.
We finished shearing two weeks ago. It has been a great season weatherwise and we have lots of lovely fleeces, waiting to be sorted and bagged up.
Our first bus load of visitors came mid November from Bunurong Spinners and Weavers. They enjoyed a sumptious lunch and had fun going through fleeces in our historic shearing shed.
Here in this pic are two of the ladies feeding the bottle fed lambs.